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The USWNT Looks Ahead After The Time is Now Tour, presented by Toyota

12/19/2017, 6:00am EST
By Ray Hacke

The series served as a measuring stick for the U.S. ahead of the Olympics

SAN JOSE, Calif. — When the U.S. and Canada come together for a series of games, there is certainly no shortage of action, emotion and excitement.

After the completion of The Time is Now Tour, presented by Toyota, the U.S. can take away many positives, but the Americans know they also have some things to work on before they try to reclaim Olympic gold at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The U.S. brought the Tour to a close on Dec. 15 with a 3-1 loss to Canada at the SAP Center. They followed that up with an exhibition 2-1 overtime loss to Canada in Edmonton on Sunday.

“We need to elevate in a lot of areas,” U.S. captain Meghan Duggan said. “Goal-scoring is one of them.”

Brianna Decker scored Team USA’s lone goal in the Dec. 15 contest. With the Americans on the power play early in the second period, Decker camped out in front of the crease, took a feed from fellow forward Hilary Knight and slid the puck past Canadian goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens to put the United States up 1-0.

Kendall Coyne also assisted on the goal.

Canada tied the score on a goal by Haley Irwin 12:57 into the second period, then took the lead on a controversial goal at the 18:15 mark. Sarah Nurse’s tally was reviewed twice for interference, but ultimately allowed to stand.

Marie-Philip Poulin capped the scoring for Canada just five seconds into the third period.

The game appeared to be an aberration for Team USA in terms of shots on goal. The United States entered the game having outshot Canada on tour 119-89, but was outshot 36-26 in San Jose.

Better there than at the Olympics, according to U.S. coach Robb Stauber.

“We don’t want to get lucky here,” Stauber said. “If we don’t take advantage of our chances in the red zone and get a win, that would give us a false sense of security."

“We have six weeks to focus our attention on an area of the game that’s critical. It’s going to be good for us.”

In eight games against the team that has won the last four Olympic gold medals, Team USA finished 3-5, including two overtime losses. In the final four games of the series, Canada outscored Team USA 9-3. The Americans did win the biggest of the matchups, a 5-1 win in the championship game of the Four Nations Cup.

Team USA did not lack goals over the course of the series for lack of trying: The United States outshot Canada 236-197 in their eight head-to-head matchups. However, in the last four games of the series, the Americans struggled to create as many scoring chances.

“We’re not putting as many pucks on net,” Duggan said. “We’re not getting as many shots on goal as we normally do.”

While no dominant scorer emerged for the United States during the tour, 14 of the squad’s 25 players scored at least once, with eight scoring multiple goals. Five scored at least three goals, with forwards Coyne and Hilary Knight, and defenseman Emily Pfalzer netting a team-high four apiece.

Coyne also had a team-high 10 points.

The Tour served as an excellent means for the United States to test itself against its chief rival for Olympic gold.

“The goal for us is to be hitting on all cylinders in February,” said Stauber.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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2017-18 USWNT Schedule

Date Opponent TIme (Local/ET)/Result Venue Location Broadcast/Stream
Sun., Oct. 22 Canada W, 5-2 Centre Videotron Quebec City, Que. NHL Network
Wed., Oct. 25 Canada* L, 1-5 Agganis Arena Boston, Mass. NHL Network
Tues., Nov. 7 Finland
Four Nations Cup*
W, 8-2 Florida Hospital Center Ice Wesley Chapel, Fla. HockeyTV
Wed., Nov. 8 Canada
Four Nations Cup*
W, 4-2 Florida Hospital Center Ice Wesley Chapel, Fla. HockeyTV
Fri., Nov. 10 Sweden
Four Nations Cup*
W, 5-0 Florida Hospital Center Ice Wesley Chapel, Fla. HockeyTV
Sun., Nov. 12 Canada
Championship Game
Four Nations Cup*
W, 5-1 AMALIE Arena Tampa, Fla. HockeyTV
Sun., Dec. 3 Canada* L, 1-2 OT Xcel Energy Center St. Paul, Minn. NBCSN
Live Stream: NBC Sports App
Tues., Dec. 5 Canada L, 0-2 Bell MTS Place Winnipeg, Man. NHL Network
Fri., Dec. 15 Canada* L, 1-3 SAP Center San Jose, Calif. NBCSN
Live Stream: NBC Sports App
Sun., Dec. 17 Canada L, 1-2 OT Rogers Place Edmonton, Alta. NHL Network
Sat. Jan 13 Team NWHL W, 3-0 Florida Hospital Center Ice Wesley Chapel, Fla. HockeyTV
Mon., Jan. 15 Team NWHL W, 6-2 Florida Hospital Center Ice Wesley Chapel, Fla. HockeyTV


Tag(s): Home  Women's Olympics  2018 - PyeongChang  2017-18 National Team  The Time is Now Tour